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Real value of soldier's valor

Real value of soldier's valor
By Christine Cudis
MANILA -- In a job where every day is hard work and every moment is heroic, how do military officials want to be rewarded?

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson and public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato, said Filipino soldiers are silent workers and accomplish daily tasks and mission without any fanfare.

“A pat in the back, a word of encouragement or, a smile is enough recognition for the daily heroic deeds,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

On one hand, the government puts a high premium to the soldiers’ efforts through instituting an award system to recognize their gallantry.

Currently, there are at least 70 awards and decorations given to a soldier and three of the highest recognitions-- Medal of Valor, Distinguished Conduct Star, and Distinguished Service Star-- are also the most difficult to obtain.

A total of 17 out of the total 41 awarded with the highest honors are still alive while five of them remain in active service.

The most recent awardees of the Medal of Valor are late Army Capt. Rommel Sandoval (2017), one of Marawi’s heroes; late Private First Class Ian Pacquit (2014), 21, who died after he intentionally put himself in the line of fire to save his team; and retired Brig. Gen. Noel Buan in 2004 who killed and escaped the members of an armed group that abducted and murdered his team.

Detoyato said words sometimes fail to describe the feelings of a soldier fresh from an encounter.

“Adrenalin takes over and you feel high and happy that another challenge is over,” he said.

“The energy behind is the reality that you are doing it not for yourself but for the man next to you, the family behind you and the whole country supporting you and expecting you to be victorious,” he added.

But amid the medals, to most soldiers, they only eye one priority goal at the end of every battle.

“Our only wish is to be able to go back and see our families once in a while,” Detoyato said.

At the heart of the AFP is service and service from the heart does not necessarily seek for recognition to be validated. Most if not all the time, showing our gratitude is more than enough.

In a separate interview, Brig. Gen. Rolando Rodil, commander of the AFP Reserve Command, said some sacrifices go unnoticed.

“But for us, we just do our duty, with or without recognition. Just the thought of doing what needs to be done despite the costs to oneself would give it its worth,” Rodil said. (PNA)

Real value of soldier's valor Real value of soldier's valor Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 5:37:00 PM Rating: 5

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